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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to introduce myself. I was an owner of a beautiful and wonderful GSD named Starr for 15 years before he became ill and had to be put to sleep. That was last year. After a year of missing him I decided to get another one. I will be picking up Gustav today!! I truly love this breed. I stumbled upon this forum and glad that I did. :)
 

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Hi and welcome! Sorry about the loss of Starr, but what a great soul to have given you 15 years of love and companionship.

Have you got Gustav yet? Looking forward to pictures and stories!
 

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Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I'm happy to say that I got Gustav 2 days ago. He is registered AKC and 1yr and 5 months old and was given to me by a friend of the family, He was a little shy and unsure of his new surroundings at first but he is really coming around now. He especially loves my 5 year old son. I can't wait until he gets a little more comfortable so I can start some training. I'm so very excited to have a GSD again. Here are a few pictures.
 

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In the short couple of days that I have had Gustav I have come to realize that the previous owners have done him a huge injustice. They wasn't mean to him or anything I don't think but it seems that they probably just kept him in a pen and didn't spend any time with him. They told me that he was leash broken but there is no way. He is real nervous and doesn't even like a leash. I can tell it's gonna take some work and patience to bring him around where he needs to be. I am 100% committed though. I just hate that he was just thrown in a pen and more or less forgotten! It just seems so strange to me since I absolutey took my last GSD everywhere and let him experience as much as possible.
 

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He is gorgeous! So glad you got him and will give him a normal life. Take it easy with him, build a trust and a bond before introducing him to too many new things. I bet he has a lot of potential, just waiting to come out with some attention and time.

I wonder if he was walked in a gentle leader? the pics are not that clear, but he seems to have some rub marks that would indicate a head halter. If he associates the leash with the pain and discomfort of the head-halter rubbing on him, no wonder he is nervous.

You could try just snapping a small, light leash to his collar, and let him drag it around so he gets used to it. Occasionally pick up the loose end and walk with him, don't try to control him with it yet, just let him get used to having a leash on, and you holding one end of it.

Let us know how he does - I'm glad to hear he is good with your five year old, that is a very encouraging sign.

My Rottweiler mix was a stray that I adopted from the shelter. Like you, after a while, I came to suspect that she had had no interaction and no training at all, and was probably kept tied outside in an isolated area for the first year of her life. She was afraid of everything, and had no idea how to deal with stairs, or clamber over a fallen log, no obedience training whatsoever, didn't know how to walk on leash, etc . . .

Took a lot of work, but it was so rewarding - she turned out a fun and willing worker, overcame her early insecurities, and is outgoing and confident. So no doubt here that Gustav will pleasantly surprise you as you work with him.
 

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Yeah I'm gonna take my time. I think he will be great. I don't think he had a head halter think that may just be his coloring that looks like where he has been rubbed. Although I will check him over again when I go out. He is free to roam now in a fenced in yard about an acre in size so its a big difference from an 8x10 kennel. Like you Rotty Mix he has no training what so ever. Once I get him used to me so he trusts me I will start with some basics. I will however give your advice on the leash a try! Thanks!
 

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Update on the leash training. Let him walk around a couple hours with the leash just dragging. Apparently that and a 5 year old boy leading him is all it took. Looked outside and my son Jake was leading him around the patio!!! We then walked down the road a bit. He is not there yet completely but it was a huge improvement!
 
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